New Zealand Set to Go All IP by 2012

New Zealand is set to VoIP in a big way. Telecom New Zealand has announced that it will roll out a new next generation network to its customer base that will see all of its customer lines transitioned to IP-based service by 2012.

Telecom New Zealand said it will be investing $220 million in the near term to support the new network and system capability. The investment is part of an overall multi-year $1.4 billion transition that is expected to deliver a communications service triple play (voice, data, and video).

The IP network is being built out in conjunction with Alcatel, with whom Telecom New Zealand has had a partnership since 2002. Telecom has already spent $64 million to help enable integrated services in an all-IP, multi-service core.

As part of the technology rollout, Telecom New Zealand will be implementing an IP voice-control platform as well as trunk gateways to process and switch IP voice traffic to and from the PSTN. Security is also a critical component of the next generation network with ‘Border Security’ being implemented to detect and prevent potential threats to voice security.

Interconnection with other IP networks is another key component of the rollout, with an IP voice trunking product that will allow enterprise VoIP systems to connect to Telecom’s network.

“This investment is the first step in building the capability to start the longer-term transition,” Telecom’s General Manager Technology and Capability Transformation Stephen Crombie told “It is supported by 24 months of design and planning activity, and by detailed benchmarking and commercial negotiations, to ensure that the solution being implemented is the most appropriate for Telecom.”

Residential customers will begin migrating to the new network by early 2007, with all of New Zealand’s customer lines transitioning to the IP-based network by 2012.

Crombie noted that though most telcos are looking at the transition to IP services, Telecom NZ is ahead of the bunch in working on the total replacement of the PSTN.

“At the start of this decade the telecommunications industry underwent a period of major change that required all participants to re-evaluate the roles they played in the delivering of communication services to businesses and consumers,” Crombie said. “Telecommunication service providers around the world have realized the need to look at the next major network transition, from circuit-based to packet-based technology.”

“The deployment with Telecom is certainly at the forefront of this global trend, and is currently the most extensive migration plan, which will be seen as a benchmark in the global telecommunications industry,” Crombie commented.

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